Karachi: The Sindh government on Tuesday announced its decision to invest USD 25 million to replant degraded wetlands across the province — in an attempt to benefit the region’s struggling coastal communities by equipping them with a full-spectrum wetland ecosystem, according to news sources. As per the publication, the project is to be executed under a public-private partnership model.
This decision was made during a cabinet meeting that was chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and was attended by all provincial assembly members and advisers.
Forest Secretary Rahim Soomro told the meeting that the public-private partnership model was the only feasible way to rehabilitate and restore these degraded chunks of wetlands in the Indus Delta area. The meeting was also informed that budgetary and techno-managerial constraints would be addressed through collaboration with the private sector for the project.
Forest & Wildlife Minister Nasir Shah revealed that a private firm had already expressed interest in the project. The company in question would be responsible for the development and sustainable management of the wetlands. The minister said that the firm had proposed a Sindh Blue Carbon Initiative that would cover about 0.2 to 0.25 million hectares in the Indus Delta locale (in Thatta, Sujawal and Badin districts). The proposed project is expected to be completed in 60 to 100 years and will offer social, economic and ecological benefits.
While briefing the meeting about the environmental impact of the project, Minister Shah informed the cabinet about the significance of blue carbon, saying that it was sequestered and stored in coastal ecosystems and that it helped control atmospheric carbon dioxide through primary production.